Sunday, December 9, 2007

Outdated '50s fassion or Fantasticly Classy?

Ok, whats the deal with this dress code?

It seems that some people don't like the idea of getting all dressed up!? Who doesn't love a good excuse to put on your "I look fantastic" clothes and go out to show them off to everyone? Who doesn't love the feel of being magnificently "over" dressed?

Conversely, does anyone really want to get dressed up EVERY Monday? You wear your business clothes ALL week at work and when you get home all you want to do is strip down to jeans and a T-shirt. Or just skip straight to the Pajamas! Can I get an "amen"?

The simple answer is right there in front of you. The ones that work from home, make phone calls and email people all day really want that opportunity to get dressed up. The ones that have a "real" job all week want to be ACAP (As Casual As Possible). The problem of course is that if you get really dressed up and everyone else is wearing sweats, YOU are going to feel out of place and maybe a tad ridiculous...

So that is the simple answer... what are your thoughts?

I personally (yes, as a guy) fluctuate. I have had jobs that I wore shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops to every day and I LOVED the opportunities to put on a suit or a tux and go be with "well dressed" people. But I have also worked jobs that I wore a suit for. It didn't matter how "exclusive" the occasion was, I DID NOT love putting a tie on if it wasn't for work.

How do you feel about getting dressed up for weekly meeting? Special Events? Skin Care Classes?

What are the rules in your unit or area?

Is your director (or if you are a director, "are you") relaxed or strict?

Is there an official Mary Kay Corporate directive, or do directors set the pace?

If there is such a directive, can local directors override it?

If someone were totally "into" the Goth movement (waves to "gothchiq") and had friends that absolutely LOVE the black eyeliner, would she be allowed to present the product to them without having to where a skirt and blouse? Could she "come as she was"?

I had an excellent conversation with a new acquaintance this afternoon about this and thought I would throw it out to everyone. If someone has their own style, do they have to conform or can they dress in their "norm"? Is there a difference between their personal appointments and the official events?

I know these are a lot of questions... just focus on the ones that you have experience with and hopefully you won't be overwhelmed!



  1. I think part of the problem with the whole dress code is no one likes to be told what to do. We're all adults here. IBC are supposed to be independant. ( I just know someone is going to make the McDonald's analogy, or something like it. ) The whole panty hose, closed toed shoes thing was really outdated. I do believe that has been changed.

    I remember for career conference in the summer I started off with the whole to do but by the time we got the hotel I had striped those hose off and unbuttoned quite a few buttons. My director didn't say a word. She looked as if she wished she could do the same!

    I followed the while in Rome mantra. If it was teenagers, i dressed down. If it was older ladies, I dressed up. If it was someone my age, I dressed my age. And I never wore much make up. I wanted to sell the skin care. I played up that angle. And I always wore my pins, that way they knew who the MK lady was.

  2. Good morning all,

    Well, when I go to events I will wear a skirt no hose and sandles usually. Meetings sometimes I will dress up or just wear whatever I have on that day. My director is always dressed, however this is her. I have known her about 35 years and she has always dressed up. I remember the first time I saw her in blue jeans I was like are you sick. I didn't even know she owned a pair.

    I live in South Texas and most of the time it is HOT. Yesterday it was 85 and this is December. So I dress cool as do most others.

    I like Judi dress according to the people that I am facialing. You don't want to be over or undress for classes. That is my thought.

    Have a GREAT DAY

  3. The official MK dress code has been relaxed. Hose are optional and open-toed shoes are no longer tabu. I know many women who were already wearing open toe shoes--and they looked good to me. The company only really dictates what we wear to corporate events. What we wear at meetings is outlined by directors, however, directors are urged to promote the company guidelines.
    I know people don't like to be told what to do, but some people need to be told what to do. I view MK as a businessjust as I view my day job. If my day job instituted a strict dress code, I would have no choice but to follow it.
    I used to wear my suit to all things MK related. Then, I realized I was being too literal with the dress code. I wear business attire to anything corporate (and it's not always a black suit--I like brown). To my meetings, I will wear professional, but not always a suit. I will wear a nice skirt and top and pantyhose and shoes. Pantyhose don't bother me because my legs are superwhite and I only feel confident showing them in hose. The reason there are guidelines is because some people would not know what to wear without them.
    Judi, your approach sounds right on to me. I wear what I want to my appointments. I just want to look professional and well groomed--I'm selling cosmetics, after all. I felt like maybe I was too intimidating to the customers if I showed up in a business suit so I've relaxed my appearance for SCC's. I'll even wear pants to an appointment.
    I will say this, I feel much more confident about myself when I'm dressed up for my events. Even at my day job, I feel better on the days I take more time to do my hair and makeup than the days (like today) where I don't try hard at all.

  4. The meetings I attend encourage professional dress, but people have showed up in pants (even jeans) on occasion, and no one has been shunned for that. In one particular meeting, a consultant was in jeans because she hadn't had time to go home and change. She apologized to the director, explaining that if she had tried to make it home to change into MK clothing, she wouldn't have been able to make the meeting. And the director sincerely and enthusiastically assured her, "I'm so glad you chose to come instead of worrying about that!"

    As far as SCC, I have worn a variety of different attire, depending on whom I was facialing. I too have even worn pants on occasion. But I have noticed something interesting: the classes or parties when I have been wearing my suit, I have sold more!

    My friend the super saleswoman consultant usually wears the MK Connections Beauty Coat to SCC. It looks nice, and it reminds me of the coats that I have seen ladies wearing at the Clinique counters in department stores (although the Clinique coats are white, and the MK are either black or platinum). Still the effect is very professional.

  5. Hey Kare, my director isn't real picky if someone wears pants either. She would rather have us there than skipping because we didn't have time to change. Good point. ;)

  6. We can't teach our consultants if they aren't at the meeting. We need to make sure we all understand that there are circumstances when "in Roman do as the Romans" long as we all know when we need to look professional we know how, I am not strict on attire either at meetings but if I am going to attend a Company event I believe it is simple respect to look the part of a beauty consultant.

  7. I have heard a rumor that there will be a pants announcement... hmm... I pray there is!! Of course, we know how rumors are... it may be true... it may not...

  8. Any buffoon (and I know you ladies and gents are not that) knows that in sales or even in the regular workplace the more professional you look people will take you seriously. If you are doing a SCC for a bunch of friends its different but for strangers or a
    referral well you should look professional (a comfortable dress or pantsuit, or skirt)..women at the makeup counter in the stores for the most part dont look like slouches

  9. I am new to your post, but have been a consultant for over twenty years. I was once a Cadillac driving senior director and then since I have been very part time as a consultant. Recently I have re-activated my business and am enjoying the many modernizations to the products and the packaging in the effort to be "on-trend." I am mystified, however, that the company is still insisting that we wear skirt, dresses or skirted suits to all MK functions. For the last week I have been observing my area as I lived my life... taking my kids to and from school, attending the various retail establishments and restaurants we frequent, and businesses we support... to date, the ONLY women I have seen wearing skirts are MK ladies!!! I kid you not. How can MK consider this to be "on-trend?" Who is there, corporately, who has the intestinal fortitude to encourage us to stop dressing like old ladies going to church and let us follow the styles of (young) women in today's work place. My husband made the observation that watching women come and go from the Mary Kay meetings is like watching them come into and out of church, not out of a professional office building. I want to really make a go of my career this time around, but I do NOT want to look dowdy and it is my personal belief that wearing a skirt, dress or skirted suit is not trendy enough to make other women want to listen to me tell them how to look better. We are selling "Parties." My customers attend in jeans or shorts. Wearing a business suit is way overwhelming to them. The beauty coat is a good idea, and I use one, but I would like to be able to wear a professional pant suit to my selling appointments and to my meetings and not feel guilty that I was being disrespectful to Mary Kay. I have back problems and have been told by my doctor not to wear high heels.... ergo what kind of dress can one wear with flats? I would like to know how some of you others feel about this issue and if it has come up in recruiting discussions?

  10. MKKM,

    Thank you for joining in the discussion!

    I like you already!!!

    I have posted this thought on the front page (in the form of a question)

    Click Here

    I just saw your other comment on executive income and will get to that in a second... I really like your logic.

    It is also good to have someone with so much experience. Both on the time you have been in and the various approaches you have taken to it.

    Your insight is very welcome. Please feel free to share anytime!


  11. I'm a third generation consultant taking over my grand mothers business. I was shocked when I went to my first meeting and my sales director told me I had to wear a dress. I think Mary Kay needs to look at what is going on we have a woman running for president and she wears pants!


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